Over 100 people, including security personnel and schoolteachers protesting their termination, were injured in Agartala on Wednesday, after the police used force to thwart the protesters' attempt to picket outside Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb's official residence. Over 200 protesters were arrested.
"At least 87 teachers and 17 police personnel were injured. 223 agitating teachers were arrested as they assembled near the official residence of the Chief Minister," Tripura's Inspector General of Police (Law and Order), Arindam Nath, told reporters.
In the early hours of Wednesday, the West Tripura District magistrate and collector Shailesh Kumar Yadav imposed restrictions on assembly in the area. The security forces later cracked down on the protesting teachers, who had been protesting for weeks, living in tents near the Chief Minister's house amid bitter cold.
The teachers were sacked from their government jobs after a Supreme Court order declared their appointment during the previous government's regime as illegal. They have been demanding new jobs.
The injured teachers and the police personnel were admitted to the Agartala Medical College and Hospital and Indira Gandhi Memorial hospital in Agartala.
Police sources claimed they had to resort to lathi charge and use water cannons and tear gas after the crowd became unruly.
Meanwhile Dalia Das, the joint convener of the Joint Movement Committee (JMC) of the terminated teachers, claimed that out of 10,323 retrenched government teachers, 84 have died due to various reasons including illness and three by suicide.
In the run up to the 2018 Assembly polls in Tripura, the BJP had promised to resolve the issue if voted to power. The protesting teachers allege the party has not delivered on its promise.
The agitating teachers have repeatedly dismissed the BJP government's appeal to apply afresh for the vacant posts in many departments.
The Tripura BJP, meanwhile, has claimed that the opposition CPM orchestrated the protest outside Mr Deb's house today.